Gala Rexer, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Postcolonial and Feminist Theories, Science and Technology Studies, Biopolitics, Reproductive Technologies, Sociology of the Body

Bodies, their biological reproduction, and their composition in a population are embedded in political structures of nation-states. The question of who will or will not become a parent became even more complicated as reproduction was made possible through state-regulated assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in the late 1970s. In this context, this dissertation illustrates the biopolitical operations that attend questions of regulation, implementation, use, and access to ARTs in Germany and Israel. In light of pronounced national differences between Germany and Israel, I articulate the varying discourses and practical applications of ARTs using a twofold comparative approach. On the institutional level, document analysis of legal policy regarding the regulation of ARTs will be complemented by qualitative face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders in the realm of fertility treatment (members of advisory committees, medical personnel in fertility clinics, religious authorities, and advocacy groups). Qualitative, face-to-face, in-depth interviews with marginalized women in their respective societies who have turned to ARTs will capture the individual level, focusing on the implications of ART regulation in everyday reproductive practices. The aim of this dissertation is to draft a sociology of connected histories of assisted reproduction, whilst taking into account national(ist) differences.